General News News Releases

CMU Singers Begin Year-End Tour

April 23, 2012 – With the spring academic term over, the CMU Singers are wrapping up their time together by embarking on a final one-week tour, with seven performances scheduled for their April 24 to April 29 tour.

This year’s tour will see the singers going east to communities in Indiana and Ontario. Last year’s tour destinations for the CMU Singers included Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta.

Conductor of the CMU Singers is Dr. Janet Brenneman, CMU Assistant Professor of Music. Also travelling with the tour as a guest speaker for congregations is CMU’s Dr. Dan Epp-Tiessen, Associate Professor of Bible.

“This year-end tour is a wonderful way for our students to finish off another year of hard work, and to share their efforts with the broader community,” says Brenneman. “We appreciate this special commitment that our students make to share their music with our church families in other regions. The tour provides a chance for choral music lovers to participate in worship concerts put on by our exceptional choir ensembles.”

The CMU Choirs are auditioned, mixed ensembles whose members demonstrate high calibre talent and strong vocal proficiency. Each year, CMU choirs study and perform a challenging body of choral repertoire chosen from a variety of genres and styles, providing opportunity for advanced students to strengthen and increase their musicianship. The groups perform regularly in concert and in worship throughout Manitoba, and embark on yearly tours such as this, across Canada and Northern U.S.A.

“Choir tours are one of the ways that we like to connect with CMU friends and alumni across Canada and the United States,” says CMU Church and Alumni Relations Coordinator Eleonore Braun. “Through these tours, we look forward to meeting new people, renewing friendships, and worshipping together.

CMU Singers 2912 Tour Schedule

April 24 | 7:00 PM
Eighth Street Mennonite Church
602 S 8th St, Goshen, IN

April 25 | 7:30 PM
Floradale Mennonite Church
22 Florapine Rd, Floradale, ON

April 26 | 7:30 PM
Grantham MB Church
469 Grantham Ave, St. Catharines, ON

April 27 | 7:00 PM
Worshipping together with MCEC conference
United Mennonite Educational Institute
614 Mersea Road 6, Leamington, ON

April 28 | 6:45 PM
Concert and Desert Fundraiser
United Mennonite Educational Institute
614 Mersea Road 6, Leamington, ON
Please RSVP to Sheryl Penner 877.231.4570 or email by April 16.

April 29 | 9:45 AM
Leamington United Mennonite Church
78 Oak St E, Leamington, ON

April 29 | 7:00 PM
Waterloo North Mennonite Church
100 Benjamin Rd, Waterloo, ON

General News News Releases

Talented CMU Choirs on the Road in April

CMU Chamber Choir, CMU Singers Performing on Tour

Choral music lovers in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, Ontario, and parts of the United States have an opportunity this April to participate in worship concerts provided by Canadian Mennonite University’s (CMU) talented choir ensembles during year-end performance tours.

During its April 2011 tour, the 18-voice CMU Chamber Choir, under the direction of CMU Assistant Professor of Music Janet Brenneman, will visit churches and schools in North Dakota, Minnesota, Ontario, and Manitoba.  CMU’s Cheryl Pauls, Associate Professor of Music, will accompany the tour as a guest speaker.

The CMU Singers, a 37-voice choir under the direction of CMU Associate Professor of Music Rudy Schellenberg, will visit schools and churches in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta. Guest speaker, CMU Vice-President (External) Terry Schellenberg, is travelling with the Singers.

“Martin Luther’s statement, that ‘next to theology there is no art which is the equal of music,’ frames the discipline and art of music-making at CMU,” says CMU Dean of Music Dietrich Bartel. “It is with great delight that we are able to send two of our choirs on the road, giving us an opportunity to share some aspects of CMU’s art of music-making with the broader community.”

Bartel notes that approximately a quarter of CMU students, though coming from a wide variety of disciplines and degree programs, are involved in one or another form of musical activity at CMU: singing in one of CMU’s five choirs, playing in instrumental ensembles, participating in music dramas, being involved in worship bands, or taking individual applied lessons.

The CMU Choirs are auditioned, mixed ensembles whose members are selected for their high levels of vocal proficiency.  Each year, CMU choirs study and perform a challenging body of choral repertoire chosen from a variety of genres and styles, providing opportunity for advanced students to strengthen and increase their musicianship. CMU choirs perform regularly in concert and in worship throughout Manitoba and on yearly tours across Canada and Northern U.S.A.

In addition to tour performances, CMU choirs collaborate and perform with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra at its internationally recognized New Music Festival, most recently performing the Canadian premiere of The Seven Gates of Jerusalem by the contemporary Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki.

Chamber Choir Conductor Janet Brenneman, a native of Ontario, holds a Ph.D. in Music Education from Michigan State University.  Brenneman has conducted choirs at all levels in Ontario, Michigan, and in Manitoba, and is also a conductor for Pembina Trails Voices, where she works extensively with boys’ choirs.

CMU Singers Conductor Rudy Schellenberg teaches in the areas of choral music, conducting, and church music.  In addition to choral and orchestral study and conducting at Nordwestdeutsche Musikakademie, Detmold, Germany, Schellenberg did his doctoral studies in Choral Conducting at the University of Cincinnati.  He also co-conducts the 100-voice Mennonite Festival Chorus that performs regularly with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra.

Since opening in 2000, CMU has continued to build on the venerable musical legacy of two of its founding colleges, Concord College (MBBC) and Canadian Mennonite Bible College. In addition to continuing those strong programs in choral music, music performance, and music ministry, CMU’s music education program is attracting an ever increasing number of students, as is the unique CMU Music Therapy program. Through all of these activities and programs, lives of students are being transformed through and with music, as they are being nurtured to transform the lives of others through this gift of God.

Chamber Choir Tour

Monday, April 18 | 7 PM
Lakeview Mennonite Church
4635 78th St • Wolford, ND

Tuesday, April 19 | 7 PM
Strawberry Lake Mennonite Church
33068 County Highway 34 • Ogema, MN

Wednesday, April 20 | 7 PM
Rainy River Evangelical Covenant Church
303 Broadway Ave • Rainy River, ON

Thursday, April 21 | 7 PM
Maundy Thursday Service
First United Church
23 Van Horne Ave • Dryden, ON

Friday, April 22 | 7 PM
Red Lake Mennonite Church
100 Hammell Rd. • Red Lake, ON

Saturday, April 23 | 7 PM
Grace Mennonite Church
430 Third St  • Steinbach, MB

Sunday, April 24 | 10:30 AM
River East MB Church
755 McLeod Ave  • Winnipeg, MB

CMU Singers Tour

Monday, April 18 | 7 PM
Brandon, MB
Grace Mennonite Church

Tuesday, April 19 | 7:30 PM
Joint concert with Rosthern Junior College
Osler, SK
Osler Mennonite Church

Wednesday, April 20 | 7 PM
Coaldale, AB
Coaldale MB Church

Thursday, April 21 | 7 PM
Lethbridge, AB
Lethbridge Mennonite Church

Friday, April 22 | 10 AM
Calgary, AB
Bethany Chapel

Saturday, April 23 | 10 AM
Edmonton, AB
Lendrum MB Church

Saturday, April 23 | 7 PM
Edmonton, AB
First Mennonite Church

Sunday, April 24 | 10:30 AM
Edmonton, AB
Lendrum MB Church

Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) is a Christian university in the Anabaptist tradition, offering undergraduate degrees in arts and science, business and organizational administration, communications and media, peace and conflict resolution studies, music and music therapy, theology, and church ministries, as well as graduate degrees in Theological Studies and Christian Ministry.  Located in Manitoba, CMU has over 1,700 students at its Shaftesbury Campus in Southwest Winnipeg, at Menno Simons College in downtown Winnipeg, and enrolled through its Outtatown discipleship program. CMU is a Member of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC).

For information, contact:
Nadine Kampen
Communications & Marketing Director; Tel. 204.487.3300 Ext. 621


CMU Celebrates 10th Anniversary with Spring Concerts

Choral music lovers and supporters of Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) are invited to celebrate CMU’s 10th anniversary at two spring concerts being held to commemorate the occasion.

Westminster United Church, one of Winnipeg’s heritage buildings, will host a concert on Saturday, March 26, at 7:30 p.m. The second concert will be held in Gretna, MB, at Mennonite Collegiate Institute’s (MCI) Buhler Hall, on Sunday, March 27, at 3:00 p.m.

“Since this is our 10th anniversary, we felt that we would do something special for both constituencies,” says Dylan Tarnowsky, Development Associate at CMU and event lead for the Westminster concert.

Both events, based on the theme “Hope, faith, life, love,” will feature four CMU choral ensembles—the 40-voice CMU Singers, the 20-voice CMU Chamber Choir, the 50-voice CMU Women’s Chorus, and the 30-voice CMU Men’s Chorus—as well as various solo instrumentalists.

“The concerts will highlight CMU’s choral tradition, not only of the last 10 years, but also the longstanding traditions of both Canadian Mennonite Bible College (CMBC) and Concord College/Mennonite Brethren Bible College (MBBC),” says Rudy Schellenberg, Associate Professor of Music and co-conductor of CMU’s choirs.

“Invigorating choral partnerships provided strong links between CMBC and Concord College/MBBC long before CMU was imagined, and helped paved the way for CMU,” adds Cheryl Pauls, Associate Professor of Piano and Music Theory. “The choral art continues to bring diverse voices together and to thrive in the CMU era.”

In honour of the anniversary, renowned Ontario composer Jeff Enns was commissioned to write a special celebratory piece for the CMU Singers and Chamber Choir to perform together. The piece, “What Does the Lord Require of You?,” is based on a Micah 6.8-themed text penned by California Mennonite writer/poet Jean Janzen.

The Westminster concert is a ticketed event; $20.00 for adults and $10.00 for students. Tickets are available at CMU’s reception desks, at the door, and online at

“I’m looking forward to hearing our choirs sing in that magnificent space,” Tarnowsky says of the Westminster concert. “The acoustics are supposed to be incredible. This will be a ‘night on the town’ for Winnipeggers who love choral music to come and experience CMU through song.”

There is no admission charge for the MCI concert; however, there will be an opportunity to contribute to the work of CMU. This concert will also include some additional programming to include personal reflections and multimedia presentations related to the 10th anniversary, as well as refreshments.

“The MCI event is a time to bring CMU to Southern Manitoba, to reaffirm our connection with our supporters in this region of the province, and to celebrate how much we’ve achieved together in 10 years,” says Tarnowsky. “I think the event will be a wonderful blend of personal reflection, special music, and insight into all the innovations that CMU brings to the higher education ‘table’ in Manitoba.”

Schellenberg says a highlight of both concerts will be hearing and participating in a great variety of outstanding choral music, both new and familiar. “Singing together, whether in the congregation or the choir, is a profound participatory experience,” he says. “It unites us in a common purpose and faith in God that few other expressions can.”

For more information about CMU’s 10th anniversary spring concerts, please go to or call 487-3300 x607.